Irish comedian Dara O’Briain has spoken about the moment he met his birth mother face to face for the first time.
The Mock The Week star has always known that he was adopted and his parents never tried to hide the fact from him.
He said that his adoptive family were wonderful and he spent much of his life not thinking about where he might have originally come from.
As he got older he realised he would like to meet his birth mother and discovered that she had had no choice but to give him up for adoption.
He became inspired to make contact with his birth mother after watching the heart-breaking movie Philomena, starring Judy Dench and Steve Coogan.
O’Briain told Late Late Show host Ryan Tubridy
He said: “I went to see the film and I went, ‘Jesus, there’s not just me in this, I have a responsibility, an obligation, to this woman who gave a baby up for adoption and has no clue.
“I hadn’t thought like that in 45 years.”
The process was unnecessarily difficult and there were plenty of obstacles in the way including redacted documents and even false information.
When he finally did find his birth mother he realised that she may already know his face quite well, after all he has been on TV for decades!
He said: “My birth mother was startled and a bit surprised after that length of time.
“All I wanted to do was to find out who it was, sent them a letter going, ‘look who’s OK, it was grand, I ended up with a lovely family and it’s been very, very good’.
“I remember writing the letter.
“There was a separate letter then I had to write, going ‘look, it would be lovely if we could meet’.
“’By the way, when you walk into the room, you may be slightly familiar with my face! It may be slightly weird!’
“That was a weird thing to get across.”
Met with his birth mother shortly before the first covid lockdown in 2019 and described the experience as being one of contrasting emotions.
The star said: “She came into a room in a hotel in Dublin just before the lockdown and sat across from me.
“It was a weird mix of emotions and non-emotions I have a very happy family life and I’m meeting a stranger, essentially.
“I know them better since then, but in that moment it was very, very weird.
“People presume that suddenly all the questions will be answered and they’ll look exactly like you and they’re like ‘oh yeah, weirdly I’ve always been into maths!’
“Or it’ll be a 6′ 4″ bald woman who’ll be carrying a telescope, going ‘oh yeah, that makes sense!’
“Weirdly all the questions you think it answers, it doesn’t answer.
“But there is a photograph of her father and I think he looks a lot like me.”
It wasn’t just a birth mother that O’Briain ended up meeting for the first time. He also met siblings that he never knew about during later meetings.
He said: “Lockdown occurred but we kept up contact on phones. That probably gave time for everything to breathe and normalise.
“Then when lockdown lifted I went back over and I met sisters and a brother and it was lovely.”
Take a look at the video below.
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Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling